Statement by TUV North Antrim MLA Jim Allister:-
“Edwin Poots’ electioneering announcement of ‘reprieve’ for four statutory care homes needs close examination. If he does not reverse his policy of blocking new admissions to all these homes, and others, then the announcement does not provide an assured long term future for the homes. Finding a new use for them is not the same as permitting them to flourish as statutory residential homes within the NHS.
“In the Northern Trust area Mr Poots had advance knowledge of the intended 100% closure, and did not intervene till forced by the public outcry. To now say that he wishes all current residents to be able to stay, while welcome and a relief for those families, does not guarantee the future of these homes unless he allows new admissions.
“I congratulate the Pinewood and other campaigners who have pushed the minister this far, but the campaign must go on till the long term future of the homes is assured as residential homes.
“So while this latest DUP u-turn is welcome, as far as it goes, only lifting the moratorium on new admissions will bring long term security to these homes.”